January 12, 2012

On personal economics

by Nori — Categories: Economics, Feeding the Soul, Wising upComments Off on On personal economics

In my RSS feed this morning was an article by A. Lawrence Chickering about annual get-togethers he had with William F. Buckley Jr. and Milton Friedman on the second weekend in January.  I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for their conversations.  I have no doubt they would have been educational and thought provoking.

One particular piece struck my “OH!” nerve.

Milton never stopped teaching. One morning we went to the Alta Lodge ski shop to buy various trifles. I finished my shopping and impatiently waited for him at the door of the shop. “Got everything you need?” I asked. “Nope,” he responded. “But I’ve got everything I’m willing to pay for.”

In everything I’ve watched and read about Milton Friedman, that is quintessentially Milton.  He was an enormous advocate of the free market system and free will, and that singular comment resounded strongly within me.

There are things I really want, thing I could make an argument for needing, but they aren’t things I’m willing to pay for.  Maybe I should say, they are things I’m not willing to pay that much for.

I saw a new tablet by Lenovo that’s due out in 2013.  It’s something I am sure to covet for a long time to come, but it’s not something I’ll be willing to pay full retail for.  I may get the second edition of the tablet (Windows 8) after the tablet’s been in production for a while and the price has dropped or I can find it at an affordable (to me) price when it shows up on Amazon used.  Maybe.

I like the freedom to spend my money as I choose and how I choose.  I like buying things discounted and second hand.  I don’t have a burning desire to buy things brand new as soon as they hit the market.  If it’s something I need/want, I can wait.

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